What You Need to Know About Keyboard, Dialer Apps, Google Security and USB Chargers

John Vrooman | June 25, 2015

Did you know that if you are an iOS or Android device owner you can install alternative keyboard apps? That’s right, you can replace the default keyboard that came with your device. Generally speaking, alternative keyboards can provide you with some new features and functionality that stand a good chance of making the switch to a new keyboard worthwhile. However, you should be aware that there’s a chance that your device’s default keyboard may have some features you may lose easy access to if/when you switch to another keyboard app.

Personally, I have switched my default keyboard on my iOS and Android devices to the “SwiftKey” alternative keyboard app. I also think the “Swipe” and “Flesky” keyboard apps are interesting options, too. If you want to explore the alternative keyboard apps landscape you can find a whole bunch of them by going to Apple’s App Store, or Google’s Play Store and simply searching for “keyboards.” The search results will lead you to many different options. Tip: Consider searching for the name of the alternative keyboard app that interests you on YouTube and/or visiting the product’s home page/website as you may come across some tutorials that might help you to install, configure and better use the product.

Alternative iOS and Android Dialer/Contacts Apps

Did you know that if you are an iOS or Android device owner you can install alternative dialer and contact management apps? Some of these apps can supplement (or, maybe even replace) the default dialer and contacts apps that came with your device? Some alternative dialer apps include replacement contact management capabilities and some replacement contact management apps include alternative dialer app capabilities. (That’s why I’m mentioning them together.) On my Android Phone I am currently using an app called “True Phone” that offers me many more interesting and helpful configuration options than my default dialer app does. If you search Apple’s App Store, or Google’s Play Store for “dialers” or “contacts” your search results will identify a number of apps that I would encourage you to learn more about and possibly consider. Once you identify an app that interests you, I would again encourage you to pay a visit to the software developer’s website and/or Tube.com to see if you can find any helpful resources, tutorials, reviews, etc. that could help you to get up and running with the new app faster!

Attention Googler’s: Visit Your ‘My Account’ Page

The text at the top of Google’s “My Account” page reads… ”Control, protect, and secure your account, all in one place. My Account gives you quick access to the settings and tools that let you safeguard your data, protect your privacy, and decide how your information can make Google tools and services work better for you.” The just mentioned text does a good job of summarizing what and why you should pay a visit to your Google “My Account” pages. Your My Accounts page has a fairly recently updated look and feel it, and the redesign makes finding and updating settings easier. If you haven’t reviewed your Google account settings recently you’ll likely be surprised at all the different settings/options that are available to you. To get the process going, simply visit…

https://myaccount.google.com. (There’s a lot to review here, so I would suggest doing this when you have some time and motivation to work through it all).

USB Chargers/Adapters

By any chance does your household have multiple mobile phones, tablet computing devices, wireless headphones/headsets, portable speakers, fitness bands, and other devices that constantly need to be recharged? If you do, there’s a good chance you’re also running short on power outlets and/or find yourself unplugging one device/charger to plug in another one. If this routine sounds familiar to you, there’s a good chance that some of your device charging headaches could be reduced by investing in one (or more) multi-port USB chargers. Multi-port USB chargers (a.k.a. USB charging adapters) typically plug into an outlet and provide you with multiple USB ports that allow you to connect multiple USB charging cables to them. The better multi-port USB chargers contain technology that enables them to intelligently provide an optimal amount of charging power to each connected device. If you don’t yet own and use a multi-port USB charger, and want to learn more about a few sample products, please visit and explore the ianker.com web site. Here’s a courtesy link…


Windows 10 FAQ’s and the Windows Insider Program

Attention Windows users, a Windows 10 release date of July 29, 2015 (for PCs) was recently announced by Microsoft. If you want to learn more about Windows 10, a helpful FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) web page is available for you to review. You can check it out here…


If you have an interest in testing out the free “Windows 10 Insiders Preview” version of Windows 10 (The latest version of Windows 10 that Microsoft is generally making available) you just need to join the “Windows Insider Program” (free). If this interests you, simply visit the following web page…


Suggestion: Consider installing this version of Windows on a backup computer and not on your primary PC. (Just in case an unexpected problem/incompatibility is encountered).


One of the headaches that most people have to endure and get through when they get a new computer is reinstalling lots of software. Ninite is a utility and service that helps you to quickly and easily install many popular software programs all at once. In a nutshell, Ninite allows you to quickly select and install many different software programs. For the programs it supports, there’s no more need to have to go to each software developer’s website to locate and download the latest version of their software application. Instead, Ninite does this for you! To get a better idea of how the product/service works and to review the list of supported software titles, please visit the following web page…


(Tip: The help section at the ninite.com website offers useful information that you may want to scan through)


This column is eventually made available at www.realestateindepth.com (Technology column section)

If you have comments, suggestions, tips, questions or just want to say “Hi”, you are invited to contact me at john@johnvrooman.com. (I always enjoy hearing from you!)

John Vrooman is an experienced Realtor who enjoys staying on top of real estate, technology, marketing, new media and small business trends and developments. John curates information from a wide range of resources and enjoys sharing tips, thoughts and discoveries with a something for everyone approach. He is an Associate Broker with Better Homes & Gardens Rand Realty’s White Plains office.

John Vrooman
John Vrooman keeps an eye out for cool new hardware, software, apps, gadgets; SaaS solutions; social media developments, trends as well as personal/SMB productivity and related solutions. He gathers information for his column from a diverse range of resources and he enjoys sharing his discoveries with others. He has been authoring this column since August 2000 and welcomes feedback from his readers.